Control of Pesticides etc.

Part of Orders of the Day — Food and Environment Protection Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 3:46 pm on 26th June 1985.

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Photo of Mrs Peggy Fenner Mrs Peggy Fenner , Medway 3:46 pm, 26th June 1985

We monitor residue levels not only in individual items but in the complete diet. The levels found over many years have been well below the level that is internationally regarded as safe, and the levels are declining. The Bill provides for action to be taken on residue levels.

I appreciate hon. Members' difficulty about understanding how far the Government have moved on this issue. I become a little agitated when I am told that I am being dragged screaming into the 20th century. We have sought to enact a good Bill. The Government are not being dragged into the 20th century. The legisation permits disclosure in full about safety data, but in practice that must be subject to consultation and practical considerations—how long it will take, how much it will cost and how much information is required. We must attempt to reach consensus within the ordinary practical constraints of commercial secrecy. We shall make available all the information that is necessary to reassure the public about the safety of the pesticide in question.